Children and Young People’s Participation During the Corona Pandemic – Nordic Initiatives

Edited by Alix Helfer, Sinikka Aapola-Kari, and Jakob Trane Ibsen

Several necessary restrictions and measures were implemented across the Nordic region to protect the population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many children and young people have suffered because of these restrictions. In most Nordic countries,
schools and cultural and recreational activities have been entirely or partially closed for long periods, and many services related to healthcare and welfare have become less accessible. These activities and services are important for children and
young people’s quality of life. In some areas, however, the restrictions may have also made everyday life simpler for some. The experiences of the first few lockdowns seem to differ from those that came later. There are differences between children
and youth based on their age, gender, ethnicity, and their socioeconomic status.

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This report explores the situation of children and young people during the pandemic and their place within different Nordic countries’ governmental strategies, both at the central and regional levels. The purpose is to gain new comprehensive
knowledge on what strategies and measures the Nordic countries implemented during the pandemic to ensure children and young people’s participation and influence in school and leisure time, consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child (Article 12). Another report will follow by the same research team on the current research being conducted concerning the participation in education and leisure of children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic (Helfer et al., forthcoming 2023). Both reports focus on school-aged children and young people up to 25 years of age.

ISBN 978-952-372-044-2
ISSN 1799-9227
Finnish Youth Research Network / Finnish Youth Research Society, Internet publications 177

Table of Contents

Summary 6
Sammanfattning 8
Growing Up in the Shadow of the COVID-19 Pandemic 10

Part 1:
The COVID-19 Pandemic in the Nordic Countries 18
1.1 Sweden 19
1.2 Denmark 26
1.3 Finland 31
1.4 Norway 36
1.5 Iceland 40
1.6 Greenland 43
1.7 Faroe Islands 46

Part 2:
Safeguarding the Rights of Children and Young People 49

2.1 Sweden:
Children’s Rights – Perspectives and Initiatives 50

2.2 Denmark:
Concerns of Children and Youth 64

2.3. Finland:
Measures to Protect Children and Young People’s
Best Interest 76

2.4. Norway:
Children’s Rights Perspective and Initiatives 93

2.5. Iceland:
Children’s Rights Perspectives and Initiatives 103

2.6. Greenland:
Children’s Rights Perspective
and Initiatives 113

2.7. Faroe Islands:
Children and Youth’s Rights Perspective and Initiatives 121
Conclusions 128
Promising Practices from the Nordic Countries 134
Acknowledgements 141
References 142
Contributors 160